Shakespeare Birthplace Trust Library & Archives
We care for over one million museum, library and archive items in Shakespeare’s home town of Stratford-upon-Avon. Through them, we share the story of William Shakespeare, his family, his town, his works and his influence on the world.
You can explore our collection through our online catalogue and online exhibitions, see them yourself by visiting our Reading Room or the Shakespeare family homes and our exhibitions.
You can explore our Shakespeare Documents, which have been awarded recognition through the UNESCO Memory of the World Register, and feature in Shakespeare Documented a multi-institutional collaboration bringing together all of the material documenting Shakespeare’s life. To find out more about our Designated collection (PDF download), you can also read our blogs and search through our local history databases.
Some of the highlights of our collection include direct documentary evidence of Shakespeare’s life, including his baptism and burial recorded in the Holy Trinity Parish Register, copies of the First Folio of his complete works, and a signet ring believed to have belonged to him. We also care for the library and archive of the Royal Shakespeare Company, which includes images, prompt books, recordings, and printed material relating to the Company and its productions since its foundation.
Donating items to our collection
Read our guidance for potential donors to learn more about our collecting policy and find answers to frequently asked questions relating to donating items to the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust collections.
We also welcome financial donations that help us to care for our collections and support the reading room.